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Common Mud Common Map Alligator Snapper Red-eared Slider Smooth Soft-shellPainted TurtleEastern River Cooter AQUATIC TURTLES OF KENTUCKY Common Musk.

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Presentation on theme: "Common Mud Common Map Alligator Snapper Red-eared Slider Smooth Soft-shellPainted TurtleEastern River Cooter AQUATIC TURTLES OF KENTUCKY Common Musk."— Presentation transcript:

1 Common Mud Common Map Alligator Snapper Red-eared Slider Smooth Soft-shellPainted TurtleEastern River Cooter AQUATIC TURTLES OF KENTUCKY Common Musk

2 History and Life First turtles appeared about 200 million years ago, considerably before dinosaurs Have undergone little evolutionary change There are about 100 aquatic turtles that live in the United States, only about 16 live in Kentucky Can live for more than 50 years, average is about 35 in wild Live in almost every type of habitat

3 Kentucky Turtles Alligator Snapper Common Snapper Mississippi Map False Map Ouachita Map Common Map Midland Painted Southern Painted Red-eared Slider Common Musk Eastern Mud Mississippi Mud Eastern River Cooter Hieroglyphic River Cooter Midland Smooth Soft- shell Eastern Spiny Soft- shell

4 Taxonomy Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Class: Reptilia Subclass: Anapsida Order: Chelia or Testudines Family: Chelydridae Snapping turtles Family: Kinosternidae Mud and Musk turtles Family: Emydidae Sliders and Cooters Family: Trionychidae Soft-shelled

5 Types of Turtles Tortoises: terrestrial Terrapins: freshwater Turtles: used to refer to marine, used commonly for all members

6 Turtle Anatomy

7 No teeth, sharp strong jaws and beak Scutes of tough keratin cover the surface of the bones Turtles have about 50 bones Shell has hinge between plastron and carapace to protect turtle inside

8 Family CHELYDRIDAE 2 Turtles: Alligator Snapper Macroclemys temminckii Common Snapper Chelydra serpentina

9 Common Snapper

10 Carapace tan to dark brown Massive head and powerful jaws 3 rows of keels Tail as long as carapace Up to 45 lbs. in wild, can exceed 75 lbs. in captivity Diet: invertebrates, aquatic plants, fish, birds, small mammals Likes soft mud bottoms, plenty of vegetation and some brackish waters Length: ½ in. N.A. Status: Common Rockies-east coast

11 Common Snapper Breeding Mates April to November Lays as many as 83 spherical eggs, usually Eggs laid in muskrat lodge Females can retain sperm Incubation depending on weather 9-18 weeks

12 Common Snapper Distribution

13 Alligator Snapper

14 Alligator Snapping Turtle Largest freshwater turtle, record 316 lbs. Massive head with strongly hooked beak Long tail Carapace brown or gray 3 prominent keels and extra row of scutes Likes deepwater rivers, lakes, some brackish Unique structure in mouth, acts as “fishing lure” Diet: anything including other turtles Length: in. Status: Vulnerable E. Tex.-Ga.,north to Miss. River in Iowa

15 Alligator Snapper Breeding Lays one clutch between April and June spherical eggs buried in mud or sand Incubation 11 ½ -16+ weeks Only females leave water to lay eggs

16 Alligator Snapper

17 Alligator Snapper Distribution

18 Family KINOSTERNIDAE Common Musk Sternotherus odoratus Eastern Mud Kinosternon subrubrum subrubrum Mississippi Mud Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis

19 Common Musk Turtle

20 Common Musk ID Smooth, high domed carapace, olive brown to dark gray with layer of algae 2 light stripes on head Females short tail, small head Males large, long tail ending in a blunt spine, enlarged head, anus posterior to edge of carapace Barbels on head and throat, both sexes Length: 3-5 inches Status: Common c. Tex.-Wisconsin, east

21 Common Musk Breeding Mates February to June Females lay several clutches annually 1-9 elliptical eggs Deposited in tunnels dug by muskrats or in nests of alligators, under tree stumps Incubation about 9 to 12 weeks

22 Common Musk Turtles Musky odor released by two glands under the edge of carapace, musk turtles smell worse than mud turtles Nicknames: –“Stinking Jim” –“Stinkpot” Live in freshwater and streams, some brackish waters Mainly in sluggish water with mud bottom and plenty of vegetation Diet: omnivorous, worms, aquatic insects, crickets, larvae, and aquatic plants

23 Musk Turtle Distribution

24 Eastern Mud Turtle

25 Eastern Mud Carapace olive to dark brown, patternless, smooth Dives swiftly at the least sign of danger Fresh or brackish water - shallow, slow- moving, soft bottom, plenty of vegetation Diet: prey caught off bottom and aquatic vegetation Males more aggressive than females over territory Musky odor Length: 3-4 inches Status: Common S.E. U.S.

26 Eastern Mud Breeding Mates March to May Several clutches laid annually 1-6 elliptical eggs Incubation about 100 days Deposited in tunnels dug by muskrats or in nests of alligators

27 Mud Turtle Distribution

28 Family EMYDIDAE Mississippi Map Graptemys pseudogeographica kohni False Map Graptemys pseudogeographica pseudogeographica Ouachita Map Graptemys pseudogeographica ouachitensis Common Map Graptemys geographica Midland Painted Chrysemys picta picta Southern Painted Chrysemys picta dorsalis

29 Family EMYDIDAE (con’t) Red-eared Slider Trachemys scripta elegans Hieroglyphic River Pseudemys concinna Cooter heiroglyphica Eastern River Pseudemys concinna Cooterconcinna

30 Common Map Turtle

31 Common Map Yellow and olive- brown colored carapace Yellow oddly shaped circle behind eyes Females are larger, males half their size Large ponds, swamps, quiet streams with muddy bottoms, abundant aquatic vegetation Basks in sun Diet: females-clams, crayfish, snails, insects, some plants Length: 9-13 inches Status: Common Northern Ala.- north,Eastern Nebraska east to Eastern OH.,

32 Common Map Breeding 2-3 clutches per season 3-20 eggs laid early summer Males stroke face and neck of females with claws

33 Common Map Distribution

34 Red-eared Slider

35 Prominent red stripe behind eyes Carapace olive to brown with yellow bars and stripesCarnivorous young, herbivorous as adults Enjoy basking on logs Hibernate in colder weather Live more than 30 years Sluggish water, soft bottoms, dense vegetation Diet: young-aquatic invertebrates, tadpoles adults-plant material “Dime Store” Turtle Don’t survive to adult Length: 8-12 inches Status: Lower risk S. Central-S.E. U.S.

36 Slider Breeding Females larger than males Males stroke face and neck of female with claws Mates March to June 1-3 clutches, 2-23 oval eggs Incubation: 2-2 ½ months Males mature 2-5 years

37 Slider Distribution

38 Family TRIONYCHIDAE Midland Smooth Trionyx mutica mutica Soft-shell Eastern Spiny Apalone spinifera Soft-shell spinifera

39 Spiny Soft-shell

40 Yellowish-greenish carapace Entire shell feels like sandpaper Several large spines or conelike projections Nose resembles a snorkle Rivers, streams, and large lakes with sandy or muddy bottoms Diet: crayfish, food, aquatic insects Can remain submerged for up to five hours using either dermal or cloacal respiration Capable of exchanging gas through their skin in both water and air Length: 17 inches females, ½ that males Status: Common but at risk S. Central U.S.

41 Spiny Soft-shell Distribution

42 Midland Smooth Soft-shell

43 Feet of softshells have extensive webbing Found in rivers, large streams, and rarely large lakes with sandy or muddy bottoms Diet: insects, worms, snails, clams, frogs, fish, young birds, small mammals, algae, and seed Length: 14 inches or more, males half that Status: Common/risk Gray or brown with dots and dashes on the back No bony scutes like other turtles Flat and leathery with very flexible edges Nose tapers to a point and resembles a snorkle NO ridge in each nostril, different from a spiny softshell

44 Smooth Soft-shell Distribution

45 Spiny and Smooth Soft-shell Breeding Breed in May and they lay their eggs in June or July Young hatch in August or September Lay the 12 to 30 eggs, ping-pong ball shaped Nests are on sandbars Eggs often dug up by carnivorous mammals, drown, some fish

46 Threats Most turtles are declining in numbers due to: –Pet Trade –Organs sold for medicinal purposes worldwide –Food –Habitat Loss –Overabundance of predators such as raccoons

47 Solutions In the pet trade, it is now illegal to sell a turtle if the carapace is less than 4 inches in length Some turtles are being put on threatened lists and being labeled as “vulnerable” so they can be more protected under laws and policies Of 270 or more known species, more than 100 are considered rare or threatened with extinction

48 Problems in Kentucky Snapping turtles are a danger to young waterfowl. To remove turtles, bait heavy lines with chicken gizzards and place baited lines in the shallow water areas around the pond. Captured turtles can be eaten or relocated. Smaller, hard-shell, or slider turtles can be captured with a trap. Make a trap place placing a box or barrel in your pond. Put a board across the top. Turtles will climb onto the board to bask in the sun, then fall into the box or barrel.

49 Research Most research done on Sea turtles, not freshwater “Temperature and Sex Determination in Reptiles with Reference to Chelonians” David Madge, University of London (2000) Several places have included turtles in research but only in terms of species inventory of a specific piece of land “An Inventory of the Amphibian and Reptile Fauna of Ichauway” Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway in Georgia (2001)


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